Rating the Greatest Baseball Players of All Time

My rankings of the greatest baseball players ever, starting with number 1, in order.

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Monday, July 19, 2004
 
Number 129: Larry Walker.

Walker is a Canadian, an undrafted free agent signed by the Montreal Expos in 1984. He surfaced in the majors in 1989 at age 22 for 20 games, then became a regular the next year. Walker quickly showed a wide variety of skills. He hit for a good average, provided solid power, played strong RF defense with an excellent arm. In 1992 he won a Gold Glove and finished 5th in MVP voting. He was part of the 1994 Expos team that was leading the division at the time of the strike, thus missing an opportunity to bring the World Series to Montreal.

Like a lot of that Expos team, Walker departed Montreal after 1994 and signed as a free agent with Colorado. As a Rockie Walker became well known, reaching the 1995 playoffs and winning the 1997 MVP award leading the league in HR and OPS. He won three batting titles in Denver. In late 2004 Walker was acquired by the Cardinals for the stretch run and postseason, and played in his first World Series. He batted .357 with 2 HR as the Cards were swept by the Red Sox.

Walker's numbers are inflated by his years of play in the thin air of the mountains, and his durability can be questioned, but his talent and performance when on the field are above reproach.

Walker has earned 156.88 ratings points.

Walker's stats: .313 average, 383 HR, 2160 hits, 1311 RBI.


Sunday, July 18, 2004
 
Number 128: Derek Jeter.

Picked by the Yankees in the first round as the sixth overall pick of 1992 draft, Jeter is a symbol of the value of having a down season every now and then. He moved in as Yankee shortstop in late 1995, and has held it ever since. Jeter pushed veteran Tony Fernandez out of the way and hasn't looked back. He won the AL Rookie of the Year in 1996, which started the run of four Yankee championships in five years that helped make Jeter's reputation as a big-game player who dominated in the clutch. The Yankees have made the postseason in every year Jeter has been a regular, but have not won it all again. Some talk about Jeter's lack of range, .200 average against Boston in the 2004 ALCS, or other shortcomings. The bottom line is, the guy will be a Hall of Famer when his career is over, and no one will argue.

Jeter has earned 156.97 ratings points through 2010.

Jeter's stats (through 2010): .313 average, 2949 hits, 1698 runs, 234 HR.